"So why aren't the two of you gay together anymore?"
*** SPOILER ALERT! ***
*** THIS IS NOT A DRILL! ***
*** SPOILER ALERT! ***
Ok, NOW we're fucking talking!
While I stand by my (very correct) opinion on "Evenfall" (too long, too repetitive, too many unnecessary details/events/chapters), you'll just have to trust me on this:
"Afterimage" surpasses its predecessor in every way!
Part of my struggle with this series is that just when I had decided that maybe it might not be for me, it had to go and give me one of the most emotional reads in months that left me completely satisfied. But on the other hand? I'M AN EMOTIONAL MESS RIGHT NOW.
The writing was noticeably tighter and faster-paced than in the first book, and it managed to convince me that this series really is as good as everyone claims it is.
The reason why “Afterimage” was so incredible is that it gave me all the angst, emotions and ugly tears while also remaining to give me a totally fascinating view into not just one (deeply damaged) character's head, but two.
I was so frustrated at times with Boyd and Sin's actions and behavior that I screamed. I SCREAMED.
That idiotic thing with Ann, Sin? And your reasons for it? That was some rude ‘tude, dude. Especially when I'm pretty sure that you very well KNOW the definition of cheating since you talked about it in "Evenfall", you stupid fucking idiot. (But also, farewell for now until the next book, you mega-dreamboat. #TeamSin)
That idiotic thing with Kassian, Boyd? It was definitely HAWT, I'll give you that. But also, what a hell of a way to deeply hurt Sin, you asshat.
The secondary characters remain a pleasure to behold. Ryan, Kassian (I don’t know about you, but I DEFINITELY ship these two), Carhart and also all of the Level 10 trainees.
And let's not forget about Emilio. I lolled so hard whenever he opened his shameless and unfiltered mouth. His addition to this series is a gift, a treasure, and I had to put down my Kindle at the end of the book and smile out the window for a minute, he just made me that happy.
Guys, what a great and emotional series this is turning out to be. “Afterimage” was exactly the addictive and mind-blowing book that I've been waiting for. It not only rectified all my complaints from "Evenfall", but paid off with compelling plot lines, captivating suspense and fascinating characterizations.
I just can’t quit you, ICoS!
This book has been on my shelf for years. Recently I made an intentional TBR stack choosing mostly those that have been on my shelf for three or more years. I seemed to be in the habit of reading my most recent acquisitions. But I digress . . .
The best way to describe this book is that it seemed the epitome of the English in all their demeanor, mannerisms, and utmost restraint. It is the story of two women named Elizabeth one of which narrates to us, while the other she refers to as her friend Betsy. They meet at school when they are young and remain lifelong friends. When in their 30's Betsy has met her love in Paris while Elizabeth meets the older Digby and settles into a mediocre but safe life and must live with the effect of it's outcome.
While there is really no plot to this story it is not a light read by any means. The true gem of this book is the remarkable writing itself and how perfectly the author describes Elizabeth's every reasoning behind her every thought and action as if we are truly in her head. The intimacy we gain with this character is amazing. Ms. Brookner's tone is rather somber yet soothing to read. I will be reading more by this author and I would recommend this only to those who truly appreciate the written word.
How I acquired this book: Barnes & Noble clearance shelf
Shelf life: Approximately 5 years.
I picked this up on sale at Amazon this week, and I really enjoyed it. It's kind of like that 90s skating movie, "The Cutting Edge," except the plot's a little more complex. Yet it certainly targets the same audience, and it hits the same sweet spots.
I was skeptical when the hero and heroine hook up in a coat room at a party in Amsterdam during the prologue, because while I'm no prude, I think a drunken one night stand is generally not a good way to start a relationship. I kept an open mind and kept going, and the story improved. Years later, Anton (Russian) and Carrie (American) are reunited after each is betrayed by their long-time skating partner. In order to salvage their careers, they partner with each other, even though it means Carrie has to move from balmy Georgia (US) to frigid Moscow and become a Russian citizen. After a rough start, they find their skating styles compliment one another far more than the styles of their prior partners, and they begin enjoying their sport and excelling at it more than ever before.
"Pairing Off" employs a TON of romance tropes: kiss-kiss/slap-slap love-to-hate-em initial tension, ruined reputation (Carrie's), mistaken identity (it takes Anton forEVER to realize Carrie is "Amsterdam Girl"), fish out of water (Carrie is an outsider in Moscow), damsel in distress, infidelity (Anton's), sabotage by ex-lovers (both), tragic past (Carrie's), marriage of convenience, sports rivalry, secondary romance between supporting characters, and probably several others I'm forgetting. Still, they're all woven together in a way that feels fresh and keeps the plot moving along, though the romance itself is fairly slow-burning.
This was certainly well worth the $1.99 I paid for it, and I will seek out Elizabeth Harmon's work again.
A friend recommended I should check out British author Jill Mansell, and I can see why she thought I would like this. It's constructed sort of like Love Actually, with lots of intersecting plot lines, and of course it's full of adorably British people saying adorably British things. In theory, this ought to be right up my alley. In practice, it missed the mark.
Staying at Daisy's is about the father-daughter owners of a schmancy hotel in the Cotwolds, their staff, guests, lovers, and neighbors. There are a lot of characters. I didn't have trouble keeping track of who the characters were, but since several of the intersecting plots hinge on characters keeping secrets from one another, I did have trouble keeping track of who knew what.
All of those secrets were my biggest problem with the story. Not my confusion, but the fact that all of these characters were so dishonest with one another, keeping secrets and sneaking around. For me, that made it hard to like these people.
I also found many of the characters very flat and underdeveloped, likely because there were so many characters that, in the interests of space, the author sacrificed character development in order to move the plot. Unfortunately, if the characters aren't developed, I have trouble giving a fig what happens to them in the story.
Anyway, this just wasn't my cuppa.